Chiang Mai was one of the many breathtaking expeditions of middle school. Knowing this was going to be our final year of middle school, we hoped for an extravagant trip, we sure weren’t let down. We all knew this trip was going to be about stepping out of our comfort zone, to try new adventures and expand our friendship. Taking risks for some people may have been a traumatising and provocative experience, but for others, these risks may have been the highlight of the whole trip.
This trip has taught us a bountiful amount of things. As the trip went along, we were all miffed and resentful towards each other, however, it taught us patience, and respect amongst teachers and students. One experience with this was the hours of trekking we did in groups. We were all exhausted, drained, and enraged. We could not stop, we had to keep on going. By halfway, most of us were beyond exhausted, many of us had already been pushed passed our comfort zones. We weren’t with the people we usually hung around with and who we were comfortable around. However, I think that this actually brought all of us much closer together. Being sleep-deprived, sweaty and lugging around a humongous backpack, none of us had the energy to get to know each other in the ‘traditional way’. All of us just decided to trust each other and help each other out.
Much of the whole Chiang Mai expedition was reliant on us being able to work well as a team. From cooking to rafting to camping, we had to be able to work as a team to achieve what needed to be done. For the nights that we camped, we were required to cook dinner for ourselves and set up our own tents. These tasks were both very challenging. While cooking dinner, we had to work efficiently as a group which taught me how to put aside conflicts that I had in order to get our tasks done. Setting up our tents was very tough, everyone in the team had to be doing the same thing at the same time and at the same pace for everything to be able to work together. If we didn’t work well as a group, it would be us who suffered.
One of my favourite activities in Chiang Mai was rafting. During the course of rafting, we went through many hardships such as having spiders attack us, falling out of the boat and paddling through the rough currents. Despite the hardships, rafting was an incredible experience for all of us. A lot of us never had experiences with rafting before, so trying this new sport was very entertaining. Rafting also taught us how despite all the different barriers, people of all nationalities and races can help each other out.
Another of our favourite activity in Chiang Mai was experiencing the culture of Thailand at the artspace. We had a chance to make Krathongs. Krathongs are the typical thing that the Siamese use to celebrate the Loi Krathong festival which is a festival that is celebrated annually throughout the Kingdom of Thailand. At the artspace, we also had the chance to learn the art of Thai dancing, and Thai boxing. We were able to understand and learn more about Thailand’s history and how the country came together.
My biggest, memorable part of Chiang Mai was the farm stay. We studied different ways to preserve rice, and to make homemade pesticides. We also had the opportunity to see rice go from “fields to plate”. Experiencing the long and exhausting process of making rice made us realise all the waste that we produced over the past years with food. We had one hour to try and produce as much rice as we could, but we only ended up with 2 tablespoons of it. Imagine how long it would take to feed 23 people rice.
Overall, this trip has been such a blast for all of us and we sure will never forget it.